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Northwest SARCon Session Descriptions

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Field exercise departures times may be earlier than the start time noted in the brochure and online -- verify your field exercise departure time and meeting location, posted at conference registration.

Friday, Sept. 26, 2014

MORNING:  NW SARCon Hosted Breakfast
8:00 – 9:30 a.m.
Camp Kuratli Activity Center

Opening Remarks and Keynote
9:00 – 10:30 a.m.

Heroic Efforts: Getting Emotions Out of the Way in SAR Work
Jen Lois, PhD
Emotions can "get in the way" in urgent situations.  Relying on interview excerpts and personal experiences from her six-year study of a Mountain Rescue group in the Rockies, Jen Lois will detail how rescuers manage their emotions before, during, and after missions to accomplish their task while keeping themselves and others safe.  In addition, Lois will discuss how rescuers must devote a great deal of attention to keeping others’ emotions from impeding their efforts: they must respond to and shape the feelings of victims during rescues as well as those of awaiting family members during searches. Thinking about how the emotions of crisis situations can impact rescuers’ identities as well as their relationships with victims, families, and each other can provide a useful perspective in understanding search and rescue work.

EVENING: Northwest SARCon Vendor Evening
5:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Camp Kuratli Activity Center

SAR Management

Managing, Planning, and Staffing the Underground or Cave Incident (Part 1 of 3)
Craig McClure and Eduardo Cartaya
11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (1A)

Underground Incidents (cave, crevasse, mine, etc.) are incredibly resource intensive and will grow rapidly. They require specialized resources and management knowledge of the complexities and challenges of operating in a very unique environment. In this session we will cover the hazards, challenges, resource types, protocols, and map reading skills needed to successfully manage an underground incident.

Managing, Planning, and Staffing the Underground or Cave Incident
Craig McClure and Eduardo Cartaya
1:30 – 3:00 p.m. (2A) Part 2 of 3
3:30 – 5:00 p.m. (3A) Part 3 of 3

In this class we will take what you learned in Part 1 (1A) and apply it in a tabletop scenario to a highly probably local scenario (Participation in part 1 is encouraged but not required).


Snow Related Injuries: Prevention, Identification, and Mitigation for SAR
Brian McCormick
11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (1B)

Traveling through snow presents unique hazards, including avalanches, snow bridges, tree wells, and cold weather. This session will help searchers identify these hazards -- and take actions to prevent and mitigate effects they may have on the individual. Avy beacon practice is a part of this session. Please bring a beacon if you have one, and come prepared to spend a part of the session outside.

Wilderness Survival for SAR
John Carlson
11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (1Ba) Classroom
1:30 – 3:00 p.m. Field Exercise (FE-1Ba)

Wilderness survival in the SAR context is more than just an individual attending to their immediate needs -- it is the skills and tools used to ensure the operational effectiveness of the SAR team on assignment. Solid individual skills leveraged in the team environment for mission success starts with the basics -- and is always a continuing process in pursuit of organizational excellence. This session will be repeated on Saturday.

10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (FE-1B) Outdoor Classroom
KISS: Knots In Successful Systems
Patrick Bentley and Eric Gunnerson

This session is designed to be fun and fast paced while focused toward building upon basic knots knowledge. After reviewing the basic knots the class will move into how to incorporate those knots into simple and compound raise/lower systems. This class is for both basic and professional SAR members. This is a basic level class that is directed to all SAR members who are new to the use of ropes and webbing. Attendees will be "learning by doing" and are expected to participate in the hands-on exercises. Class size is limited to 20 participants. No PPE is required. No equipment is required.

I Found This Humerus: The Do's and Don'ts of Crime Scene Management When Remains are Discovered
Dr. Veronica 'Nici' Vance
1:30 – 3:00 p.m. (2B)

WWOMED? (What Would Our Medical Examiner Do?) Finding human remains in the field may be a stressful and complicated process, especially in a rural setting with multiple agencies and jurisdictions represented. This class will offer guidelines to proper crime scene management when possible human remains are revealed in the field by Search and Rescue personnel. Topics will include: Oregon laws regarding death investigation; correct safeguarding of the scene AND body; determining human from non-human skeletal elements; advancements in DNA technology; and facts vs. fiction regarding handling human remains for future forensic analysis.

PAARC: Practical Application of Anchors, Rigging and Changeovers (Field Exercise for KISS)
Patrick Bentley and Eric Gunnerson
1:30 – 5:00 p.m. (FE-2B) Field Exercise

This afternoon session takes lessons from the morning session into the field, in real time, by setting up and taking down rope-system rigging -- from the anchors down to the patient and all that goes in-between. The instructors will assist class participants as they work on various inclines. The focus in the field-exercise portion of this class is to get practice setting up real systems while working with other SAR personal you may never have met before. Topics to include: anchors and rigging plates, radium release hitch, various belay devices, super Munter, bowline (single and interlocking), backing up anchors, 30-second changeovers (lower to raise, raise to lower), and Voo Doo systems. Class size is limited to 20 participants. Basic PPE is required (helmet, harness, gloves, and 3 carabineers).

Physical and Psychological Preparation for Search and Rescue
Matthew Marino, PT, MSPT, CPE, CWcHP, CSCS, ACE-CPT
3:30 – 5:00 p.m. (3B)

Physical and Psychological Preparation for Search and Rescue is a course that will help SAR personnel develop their knowledge and motivation to prepare both the body and the mind for SAR operations. This course will review current scientific evidence in these areas and deliver content that can be applied immediately to individual training programs for developing the level of physical and mental fitness needed for difficult SAR missions. After taking this course, attendees will have a better understanding of how to design and progress training programs for improving overall fitness, preventing injury, and improving load carriage ability with minimal equipment. Attendees will also gain a better understanding of the importance of rest and recovery strategies, nutrition and fluid replacement. The belief that the mind is primary will be an integral component in this course to help attendees embrace the importance of psychological preparation in conjunction with physical fitness. Attendees are encouraged to wear clothing appropriate for exercise. No other PPE or equipment is required.

Wild Edible and Medicinal Plants
Becky Lerner
3:15 – 5:15 p.m. Field Exercise (FE-3B)

In this session, Lerner, a botanical educator will lead participants on a plant identification hike covering wild edible and medicinal plants in the field, as well as poison plants to avoid, with emphasis on identification skills and practical information for field use.


Promoting Your Team Online: How to Use Social Media and the Web to Help Your Search
Robert Wurpes and Mike Russell
11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (1C)
In this course, Lt. Wurpes and Mike Russell will draw on their experiences in the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office Public Information Unit to give you ideas for using various social-media tools -- including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram -- to promote your team, aid in searches, and educate the public about SAR efforts. Smart use of the web and free social-media tools can lead to better communication, teamwork, search results and public awareness of and support for your SAR efforts.

The New DeLorme Explorer. A Breakthrough in Combining the DeLorme InReach Satellite Communicator with Advanced GPS Technology and Features
Donnie Hatch
11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (1Ca)

Overview of the new DeLorme Explorer -- including satellite-communications capabilities, SOS, 2-way texting, GPS tracking and GPS features, including marking waypoints, creating routes with built in compass, and self-navigation, and self-rescue capabilities. There will also be a discussion on new, no-contract subscription plans for InReach satellite service. This session will be repeated on Sunday.

Getting Started with Mission Manager
Jeff Beckman
1:30 – 3:00 p.m. (2C)

In this session, Beckman will give an introduction to the features of Mission Manager, including an overview of how to setup a complete team account and start using it. Beckman will focus on the basics of Mission Manager, but some advanced mapping and personnel tracking features will be covered.

Introduction to SARTopo
Matt Jacobs
3:30 – 5:00 p.m. (3C)

SARTopo is a free mapping solution tailored specifically to Search and Rescue. It includes the website, a fully capable offline version for remote environments, and a variety of map layers such as USFS roads and aerial imagery, and custom maps for newer Garmin GPSs. Because SARTopo allows everyone, including field teams, to work off the same maps and data, it can improve situational awareness and operational efficiency.
This class will show how to use SARTopo to quickly visualize terrain, generate 1:24k assignment maps and forms, preload segments to GPS, track field teams via APRS, filter and manage tracks, and log clues. Learn how to set up your own offline version, and how to use the supplied maps with other platforms like ArcGIS and Mission Manager. This session will be repeated on Saturday.


Patient Assessment and Triage
Gabe Wesson
11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (1D) Part 1 of 2
1:30 – 3:00 p.m. (2D) Part 2 of 2

Medical assessment in a wilderness emergency is an absolutely critical, yet often underperformed part of a rescue. This popular class has been extended into two parts this year to ensure that students get a good base of knowledge to use in the later medical scenarios. Geared toward the volunteer rescuer or BLS provider, the class covers how to perform a basic medical assessment, determine how mentally intact a patient is, and ask the right questions. In addition, effective communication with a patient will be taught, as well as triage systems for multiple patients, and how to communicate your findings with medical professionals.

Patient Packaging
Robert Glaeser
3:30 – 5:00 p.m. (3D)

After you have located your subject and determined their injuries, how do you get them safely out if they can't walk? This class focuses on how to, "package" a person in a litter so they can be safely evacuated. Learn how to use internal lashing, insulation, weatherproofing, and litter rigging to ensure your patient is warm, secure, comfortable, and easily accessible for medical evaluation within a litter. Also covered will be basic use of SKED and Stokes litters, basic knots and carrying techniques. Application of these techniques will be useful in the medical scenarios that follow.


Scent Discriminating Trailing Course
Colin Thielen and Marshall Thielen
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Spanning the entire three-day conference, this extended course provides hands-on immersion in the techniques of training the scent-specific trailing dog. This is a field-based training opportunity to build K9 teams that are training for operational success. Trails and skills are built from the experiences and actual casework of our diverse instructor staff. The techniques are offered in an open atmosphere to promote education with a heavy emphasis on operational safety.
Attendees will cover all aspects of component training from collection and introduction of scent, scent theory, reading canine body language, and reward. Scenario and exposure-based training will also be offered. There will be evening PowerPoint presentations to include case reviews and training principles. This course is designed for dogs and handlers of all skill levels. Space is limited to 16 participants.

Cadaver Dog Training Course
Edwin Grant
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

During the three days, the dogs will be evaluated by levels of training and indications. Dogs will be evaluated on a large and small source. Dogs and handlers will be assigned as beginner, intermediate and advanced groups. Dogs will be worked on and/or introduced to large source of human material. Dogs that will be worked on larger sources will be dependent on ability and levels of training. Search locations will be open woods, fields, buildings, vehicles.
Dogs will also be evaluated on beginning water work and advanced on ability and experience. Handlers will be instructed on proper search techniques on water from the beginning of a water search until the recovery. Boating search patterns will be a priority along with the proper use of K9s on a water search and the use of handheld GPS. At the end of the weekend, handlers will be given the opportunity to work large sources on land and or boat. The handlers will be given the opportunity to certify for cadaver land or water through Objective First Tactical K9 after the training. Space is limited to 8 participants.

Enhanced SAR

Simple Field Fixes for Vehicles
Bill Burke
11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (1F)

In this classroom session, Burke will demonstrate how to diagnose problems (big or small) and effectively repair engine malfunctions, drive-line breaks, tire repair (valve stems, flats) and other common problems that can happen while in the field. He will also discuss ways to get a vehicle back to the trail head - towing on technical terrain and what equipment makes life better when a truck breaks or quits working in the back country. This session will be repeated on Saturday.

Utilizing Mounted SAR Resources for SAR Managers and IC
Laurie Adams and Kate Beardsley
11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (1Fa)

This course will provide search managers with information on what Mounted SAR can do for them. The course will also cover what their limitations are, types of training mounted SAR should have, and how to best deploy them.

ATV Certification Course
11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Field Exercise (FE-1F)

4WD Vehicle Operations Off-Road: What 4-Wheel Drive Really is!
Bill Burke
1:30 – 3:00 p.m. Classroom (2F)
3:30 – 5:00 p.m. Field Exercise (FE-2F)

Personal and fleet vehicle decisions are important when there are so many unknowns about what 4WD really means. What is ETC, ABS, VST, ATRAC, IFS, lockers, limited slip? How does a differential affect traction in loose terrain? Suspensions, power-train, original and aftermarket equipment options, tire selection, All-Wheel Drive, symmetrical drive, full-time 4-wheel drive and part-time 4-wheel drive? This session will put this all together so you will be more informed, more confident and more aware when operating any vehicle drive system in technical terrain and on-highway as well. Vehicle selection, safety issues, vehicle dynamics and mechanical theory will be covered. We'll follow up with an in-field session so the theory will sink in as we observe and operate vehicles on a short skill building road section. 4WD vehicles are NOT required for this session.

Essential Mounted Equipment
Laurie Adams and Kate Beardsley
1:30 – 3:00 p.m. Classroom (2Fa)
3:30 – 5:00 p.m. Field Exercise (FE-2Fa)

In this valuable session, Adams and Beardsley will cover both the SAR equipment for the person and the equine and will provide equipment lists. In the field, you will have a hands-on trial of modular equipment systems.

Water Rescue

Trends in Public Safety Diving
Mark Phillips

1:30 – 3:00 p.m. (2G)
In this session, Phillip a retired professional firefighter who has been involved with water rescue and recover for over 34 years will present his observation of the evolution of PSDiving over the last thirty years and predictions of the future of PSDiving.

Sonar Search
304th Rescue Squadron
3:30 – 5:00 p.m. (3G)

In this session, the USAF 304th Rescue Squadron will discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the three different types of sonars available to first responders for underwater search. The three systems discussed will include side scan, sector scan and hand held sonars.


Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014

EVENING: Northwest SARCon Banquet

5:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Camp Kuratli Activity Center

SAR Management

Conducting Effective Briefings and Debriefings
Tygh Thompson
9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. (4A)

All too often, briefings and debriefings are done hastily which can lead to confusion and a loss of critical data coming back from the teams. With several example exercises, this course will demonstrate the proper techniques for performing briefings and debriefings on a SAR mission.

An Inside Look into SAR Coordination for Searchers and Non-Coordinators
Corey Stone
11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (5A)

In this session, Stone will give attendees an insight into common aspects of search coordination and the theory and science that goes into search planning. The discussion will begin with the initial call and progress to the mission resolution or suspension. Topics will emphasize aspects of search planning and operations that are typically out of sight to the searcher.

Mapping for Managers
Corey Stone
1:30 – 3:00 p.m. (6A) Part 1 of 2
3:30 – 5:00 p.m. (7A) Part 2 of 2

This sessions covers mapping for wilderness search managers. It will discuss map types, details, scales, datums, coordinate systems and other factors to be considered by coordinators. Students will gain an understanding of common USGS map symbols and how to read topography with contour lines. Area and distance estimation will also be included.


Introduction to Professional Tracking for SAR and Law Enforcement
Joel Hardin and Sharon Ward
8:00 – 12:30 a.m. (4B/5B)
1:30 – 5:00 p.m. (FE-4B/5B)

SAR responders offer a number of invaluable resources to both SAR and law enforcement requests for their assistance. "Professional Tracking" is one of those effective resources for missing person searches. Tracking is defined as the location and pursuit of the discoverable evidence of the presence or passage of a person. Trained trackers first look for and find physical evidence of the missing person and document that evidence to establish the fact of the missing person at the search scene. Often this initial tracking function is the most difficult factor in a successful tracking operation and most important to the overall search operation.
Students will be introduced to the 50 years of JHPTS tracking history and development of the training program. They will become aware of the proper method of identifying the sign (shoeprints), simple aging factors present in the sign, tracking team procedures, tracking stick usage, sign recognition, and pursuit of the sign line.

Rigging Beyond Basics
Patrick Bentley and Eric Gunnerson
9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Field Exercise (FE-4Ba)

This session we will be taking the basics of rope-rigging and applying them to more than raising and lowering systems. The instructors will be setting up and crossing high lines across the pond, doing tactical rappels off of the climbing tower, and more. This field exercise is designed to be a fun and fast-paced session building on basic rope-rigging skills while encouraging attendees to share their vast knowledge with others. Class size is limited to 16 participants. Basic PPE is required: helmet, harness, gloves and 3 carabineers. Participants may bring any other equipment that they have.

GPS Land Navigation
Blake Miller
11:00 – 12:30 p.m. (5Ba)
1:30 – 5:00 p.m. (FE-5Ba)

This session will present a hands-on, real-time button-pushing class in which students learn the basic operating features of handheld GPS receivers. The classroom focus is placed on the practical aspects of the GPS system and how to properly set-up individual units for field operations. The class discusses common mistakes and lessons learned from different experiences in the backcountry. The field practical exercise combines key features of the GPS receiver to successfully navigate, mark waypoints, and use the track log. Additionally, the field exercise demonstrates the critical need to correlate the GPS unit with both a map and compass. Tabletop and field exercises are linked to topographic maps and associated grid systems. Students must bring their personal GPS receiver for this class.

Wilderness Survival for SAR
John Carlson
1:30 – 3:00 p.m. (6B) Classroom
3:30 – 5:00 p.m. Field Exercise (FE-6B)

See Session 1Ba/FE-1Ba for description.

Lightweight Rigging Solutions – Doing More with Less Using Tested Improvisation and Problem Solving Techniques
Craig McClure and Eduardo Cartaya
1:30 – 5:00 p.m. Field Exercise (FE-6Ba)

Bring your personal rigging gear (harness, gloves, helmet, ATC [or similar], 4 locking carabineers, and a few slings) and learn new ways to create single and rescue load hauls, lowers, captures, and more. You will learn new skills and ways to combine current skills to accomplish rigging tasks normally solved with more cumbersome and less versatile systems.

Mountain Bikes in Search and Rescue
Jeff Walton
3:30 – 5:00 p.m. (7B)

In this session, Walton -- a cyclist and dedicated SAR volunteer since 1983 -- will describe the logistics for integrating mountain bikes into SAR teams. Walton will also outline the logistics of using mountain bikes in SAR operations. This session will be repeated on Sunday.


GIS for Search & Rescue
Andy Volokitin
9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. (4C)

In this session, Volokitin will present a review of GIS (Geographic Information Systems) for the Search and Rescue professional. Participants will learn what GIS is, how it can help them on their missions, software tools available and see "real world" examples. This session will be repeated on Sunday.

Garmin Handheld and Wearable GPS Devices
Bill Loud
9:00 – 10:30 a.m.  (4Ca)

Garmin Product Trainer Bill Loud will demo and discuss Garmin handheld and wrist-worn GPS devices. Participants will learn about unit features and interface options, mapping types and how to optimize GPS operation with software updates. Garmin Rino 2-way radio/GPS models will also be discussed.

Deployment of Technology in SAR Organizations
Jeff Beckman
11:00 – 12:30 p.m. (5C)

In this session, an overview of the recent history of technology deployment in SAR organizations will be presented. Some foreseen and unforeseen challenges with software, hardware, policies and personnel will be discussed.

Hands-on with Garmin GPS Devices
Bill Loud
11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. (Field Exercise) FE-5C

Particants will have hands-on time with a variety of Garmin GPS devices under field conditions. Compare screen size, readability, interface types, reception and accuracy of Garmin handheld and wrist-worn GPS units in the field. Learn how to optimize accuracy using GPS + GLONASS. Get hands-on experience with advanced features like Sight 'N Go, Area Calculation, Data Field customization, Profiles and Wireless Sharing.

Introduction to SARTopo (Repeat)
Matt Jacobs
1:30 – 3:00 p.m. (6C)

See Session 3C for Description.

Bridging the Gap: 911 and SAR
Michelle Renault
3:30 – 5:00 p.m. (7C)

This session discusses 911's role and the challenges we face. We will walk through the process of call-taking, activation of a SAR, the working relationships with all parties involved, the technology, communications, "Tricks of the Trade" used and the documentation of the event. We will also review a SAR mission and discuss the process used and our lessons learned. Then we will follow up with how to improve 911's relationship with the SAR teams to better our responses.


Northwest Environmental Injuries
Garth Hope-Melnick
9:00 – 10:30 a.m. (4D)

This session will focus on common injury and illness patterns that are experienced by patients in the NW Region. Concentration will be placed on crush injuries, harness induced suspension trauma, heat illness, acute mountain sickness, wilderness dermatology, and anaphylaxis. These six topics have shown over time to be some of the more common patterns found in the care of patients in this region.

Fracture and Dislocation Management
Garin Duffield
11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (5D)

This class was developed because so many rescues involve orthopedic injuries: broken bones, torn ligaments, and dislocations. It is aimed at giving the volunteer or BLS rescuer the tools to appropriately assess and manage a range of injuries in the wilderness environment. Basic concepts such as spinal immobilization, extremity fractures, dislocations of the shoulder, hip, and patella, and pelvic immobilization will be discussed and treatments demonstrated. Learn to use commercial splints as well as improvising with what you have in your pack. Students will get to apply their knowledge in the medical scenario sessions.

Wilderness Static Case Scenarios
Joe Rabinowitz et. al.
1:30 – 3:00 p.m. (6D) Part 1 of 2
3:30 - 5:00 p.m. (7D) Part 2 of 2

You've attended the classes: NW environmental illness/injury, patient assessment, patient packaging, and fracture and dislocation management. Now, learn how to actually do what you have been taught. This class is a great opportunity to get, "hands on" with a variety of medical skills. Taught by paramedics and in an outside environment, you will triage, assess, treat, splint, package, communicate, and end up with more confidence in your medical skills. Have you ever taken a blood pressure, given epinephrine, or tested a blood sugar? No? In addition, this class will teach the novice these skills and will be a great review for those BLS providers working in the wilderness. You do not need to attend any classroom sessions to participate, but it is strongly recommended. Please dress appropriately for the weather.

How to Manage Blood Loss and Control Bleeding
MSgt. Anthony Reich of the 304th RQS
1:30 – 3:00 p.m. (6Da)

Topics covered in this session will include:
• Blood loss -- how much is too much? 
• What to do to control bleeding -- from little cuts to traumatic blast amputations.
• How to help the body in its response to hemorrhage.
• Hands-on application of medical equipment to include gauze and tourniquets.
This class will be repeated on Sunday, September 28, 2014, from 9:00 – 10:30 a.m.


Scent Discriminating Trailing Course
Colin Thielen and Marshall Thielen
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

See Friday, Sept. 26 for description.

Cadaver Dog Training Course
Edwin Grant
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

See Friday, Sept. 26 for description.

Enhanced SAR

Simple Field Fixes for Vehicles (Repeat)
Bill Burke
9:00 – 10:30 a.m. (4F)

See session 1F for description.

Essential Mounted SAR Orientation and Navigation
Laurie Adams and Kate Beardsley
9:00 – 10:30 a.m. Classroom (4Fa)
11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Field Exercise (FE-4Fa)

Using a map and compass and navigating from horseback can seem cumbersome and ineffective -- but with some training, mounted SAR members can use the horse as a valuable asset. In this session, topics covered include basic map and compass skills and transferring those skills effectively to horseback. Participants will have the opportunity to learn horseback maneuvers to aid navigation; long distance mounted compass navigation (two person team); taking a bearing on horseback for tracking purposes and maintaining a bearing on horseback for a line search.

4WD Off-Road Vehicle Recovery: Getting Your 4WD Unstuck and Safe Extrication of Rescued Vehicles
Bill Burke

11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (5F)
In this classroom session, Burke will cover formulating a quality recovery plan for yourself or the rescued vehicle. Stuck Assessment, Mire Factor, Working Load Limits, rigging, equipment selection and safety, terminology and technology, identifying load resistance versus work effort, familiarity of jacks, winches, straps and blocks will be discussed. Industry safety protocols will also be presented.

ATVs in SAR: What to Expect From Them and How to Use Them
Jeffrey Salzer
11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Classroom (5Fa)
1:00 – 5:00 p.m. Field Exercise (FE-5Fa)

This class is designed for both the SAR Coordinator and  SAR volunteer who will be using ATVs on SAR missions. When a SAR Coordinator requests an ATV resource, what should they expect to see when that ATV arrives at base -- and how can it be used in the most efficient manner? When the SAR volunteer is responding with their ATV, what should they be expecting from their SAR Coordinator and how can they be most effective? We will be discussing types of ATVs, required PPE, required SAR equipment, training, search techniques, mission uses, and perceptions from the non-ATV-user, both public and SAR. In the classroom portion, no personal ATVs will be required.
In the field exercise, participants will be able to apply what they learned in the classroom portion of this training. Participants will be practicing technical riding, search techniques, and riding as a member of an SAR ATV Team. In this portion, students will need to supply their own ATV, PPE, GPS, and FRS radio.

Essential Mounted Search and Rescue
Laurie Adams and Kate Beardsley
1:30 – 3:00 p.m. Classroom (6F)
3:30 – 5:00 p.m. Field Exercise (FE-6F)

A mounted trained SAR unit can be an affective search resource. Using the navigation skills gained from the previous session, the MSAR class will use the horse as a valuable asset in various search techniques. Topics covered include: mounted line searches; mounted hasty searches; mounted containment searches; mounted man tracking; utilizing the compass and GPS for search feedback and reporting; and maintaining a bearing on horseback for a line search.

4WD Off-Road Vehicle Recovery in Action
Bill Burke
1:30 – 5:00 p.m. Field Exercise (FE-6Fa)

Burke will demonstrate and students will handle all types of recovery equipment. Hands on familiarity of: Hi-Lift Jack, winch, traction devices, dynamic ropes and straps, chain, connections, rigging and use of blocks. Demonstration and evaluation of Stuck Assessment and resistance factors of load to rigging ratio – for all vehicle sizes and compilation, and use of standard vehicle equipment as well as aftermarket equipment will be demonstrated. How to get rocks out of dual tires, risk management and Incident Command for safe extrication techniques will be discussed and demonstrated. Tips and tricks will be demonstrated for a safe and reliable recovery. You do not need a 4WD for this field session. Class is limited to 12 vehicles and 20 persons.

Water Rescue

Swiftwater Awareness
Nate Thompson and Adam Tingey
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Field Exercise (FE-4G)

Many search operations take place near some sort of water way. It is highly beneficial for the search and rescue professional to have a basic awareness of water safety for themselves and/or search partners and victims. This full day field exercise will cover the basics of specialized equipment, water hydrology, and basic self/partner rescue techniques. This course will involve swimming and the navigation of difficult terrain. Specialized equipment such as dry suits, thermals, gloves, PFD, helmet and shoes are required. Students are encouraged to bring their own equipment. Please indicate sizes needed at registration if you will need loaner equipment. This field exercise is limited to 12 participants.

Electric Shock Drowning: "The Invisible Killer"
Kevin Ritz
11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (5G)

Drowning or electrocution due to the presence of AC current in the water is an insidious danger unique to fresh-water environments. It is a serious potential threat to life and to property. Many lives have been lost to Electric Shock Drowning (ESD). There is absolutely no warning that this danger exists. In this session, Ritz will provide a clear understanding of the dynamics of ESD; clarify the difference between a "hot" dock and a "hot" boat; demonstrate how to provide a safe investigative approach; discuss corrective measures that can prevent these electric shock hazards; and provide resource and equipment information.

Using Side Scan Sonar and ROV for Underwater Search and Recovery
Gene Ralston
1:30 – 3:00 p.m. (6G)

In this session, Ralston will discuss the advantages of using side scan sonar in the search for drowning victims and other objects missing underwater. The advantages, disadvantages, and comparison of different types of sonar will be presented. Participants will learn how sonar creates images as well as how to interpret images and how to set up and execute a sonar search. Example side scan images will be shown to demonstrate imaging principles.

Safety and Risk Management for PSD Teams
Mark Phillips
3:30 – 5:00 p.m. (7G)

In this session, Phillips will discuss common issues faced by PSDive teams and risk mitigation. Phillips will demonstrate methods to improve safety and risk awareness.

Sunday, Sept. 28, 2014

SAR Management

SAR Program Management
Tygh Thompson
9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. (8A)

This course will present many of the issues that must be considered for the successful management of any SAR program. Some of the issues that will be explored include the selection and retention of personnel, retention of records, liability issues, PSAR, SAR pre-plans, training standards, and volunteer management. Forms and examples will be provided.

Family Liaison and Media Relations
Sean Collinson and John Gibson
11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (9A)

In all SAR missions, friends and family of the missing, injured or killed will be involved with the SAR efforts. How we deal with the families early on in a mission may make the difference between positive or negative press if the mission is not successful or does not have the desired outcome. The media will also be a large factor -- and is oftentimes tied in directly with the families of the subject of the SAR. Balancing the media's needs for information, family privacy requests, and agency needs can be difficult and stressful. This course is designed to assist SAR managers with suggestions on how to help the families -- and control media information -- effectively.

Own Little World: Understanding Autistic Spectrum Disorder
Curtis St. Denis, MSW
1:30 – 3:00 p.m. (10A) Part 1 of 2
3:30 – 5:00 p.m. (11A) Part 2 of 2

Autism Spectrum Disorder is the only growing developmental disorder with the vast majority of people on the spectrum approaching their teen years. This disorder is marked by crisis situations in which law enforcement officers are called to intervene. This training discusses the diagnosis and critical symptoms of the disorder, behaviors that lead to crisis situations and offers practical intervention strategies for police and search and rescue.


Experienced Tracker Training
Joel Hardin and Sharon Ward
8:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (8B/9B)
1:30 – 5:00 p.m. (FE-8B/9B)

Trackers with sufficient training are able to locate the first footprint evidence of the person looked for, and can then determine many technical factors, including age of the print and mental/physical state of the "sign-maker." These trackers are able to find the scratches, scrapes, lines and geometric patterning that identify the tread pattern of the footgear being looked for. The second day of tracking will challenge experienced trackers to draw on their experience and training to locate, identify and follow the missing person sign.
Students will be presented basic tracker-level scenarios based on actual SAR and law-enforcement tracking missions. Students will be introduced to professional tracker processing of simple crime scenes; documenting the identification of participants; determining individual participation in the scenario; and following and documenting sign-maker characteristics and aging. Students will work in tracking teams using proper tracking procedures and proper professional tracker methodology.

Exploring Rigging Physics
Marcel Rodriguez
9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Field Exercise (FE-8Ba)

Rope rescue rigging follows many "rules of thumb" and "standard assumptions" on the forces that various rigging scenarios impart on the system. While we follow these rules, few have a chance to subject them to thorough testing and see the effects firsthand. Through the use of multiple load cells (a device to measure the load on live systems) and a controlled environment, participants will get to rig and test a great number of scenarios and determine the effects they have on systems. The purpose of this session is to give riggers a detailed hands-on experience with the physics of rigging and to enable them to make informed decisions when determining the risk in various rigging situations.
This session is geared towards experienced riggers, as well as individuals interested in the physics of rigging.

Mountain Bikes in Search and Rescue
Jeff Walton
11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (9Ba)

See session 7B for description.

Precision Compass Operation for SAR
Corey Stone
1:30 – 3:00 p.m. (10B)
3:30 – 5:00 p.m. (FE-10B)

This session will give the student the skills to shoot and take bearings with a mirrored base plate compass accurately by using the features of the compass to ensure consistency in all conditions. The student will also use the compass to orient a map magnetically and use it as a protractor to determine single bearings on a map as well as bearings between two points. Students are encouraged to bring their own suitable compass, or one will be provided for the duration of the class. Maps will also be provided.
The field session portion of this session will provide a practical application of the proper operation of the mirrored base plate compass. Simple exercises that students can replicate for their own teams will be used to practice the fundamentals of consistent accuracy. Particular emphasis will be given to trouble shooting errors in the technique of others.


The New DeLorme Explorer. A Breakthrough in Combining the DeLorme InReach Satellite Communicator with Advanced GPS Technology and Features (Repeat)
Donnie Hatch
9:00 – 10:30 a.m. (8C)

See session 1C for description.

Garmin Dog Tracking and Training Products
Bill Loud and David Cousineau
9:00 – 10:30 a.m. (8Ca)

Learn about Garmin dog tracking products including the Astro tracking system and the Alpha dog tracking/training system featuring Tri-Tronics e-collar technology. This session will also cover the new PRO Series Garmin/Tri-Tronics training devices. Participants will learn how to turn their computer into a BaseStation for tracking dogs using Astro or Alpha systems.

How to Install Radios and Antennas
Tygh Thompson
11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (9C)

Communications provides a critical link in every SAR mission. This course will explain how you can easily install radios and antennas and other electronics, to get the maximum performance from each. Several examples will demonstrate creative ideas to make the best use of space in vehicles when mounting electronics.

Ham Radio in Search and Rescue
Matt Estes
1:30 – 3:00 p.m. (10C)

In this session, Estes will explain what ham radio is and how to use it in SAR. Discussion and demonstration will include the use of existing radio systems to enhance coverage; the wide range of frequency bands amateur operators are licensed to use, digital modes and software, antennas and radio types. How to get an FCC Amateur Radio License will be discussed, however, this is not a license study class. No PPE required.

GIS for Search & Rescue (Repeat)
Andy Volokitin
3:30 – 5:00 p.m. (11C)

See session 4C for description.


Wilderness Rescue Drill
Joe Rabinowitz et. al.
9:00 – 10:30 a.m. (8D) Part 1 of 2
11:00 – 12:30 p.m. (9D) Part 2 of 2

All the skills students have learned in classes and earlier scenarios will be brought to bear in this dynamic mini-rescue scenario in the woods. Students will organize into teams to locate, assess, treat, and package injured patients. Surprisingly realistic, this drill is a great opportunity to practice your skills in real time so that when you deploy into the field you will be prepared. Radio communications will be provided for medical support if needed. Because this drill is outdoors, dress appropriately. A small backpack is also recommended.

How to Manage Blood Loss and Control Bleeding  (REPEAT)
MSgt. Anthony Reich of the 304th RQS
9:00 – 10:30 a.m. (8Da)

See session 6Da for description.

The Effects of Hypothermia on the Trauma Patient
Marcel Rodriguez
1:30 – 3:00 p.m. (10D)

Most rescuers are trained in the prevention, recognition and treatment of hypothermia. What is less understood are the effects of hypothermia on a trauma patient. This session will explore the deadly complications that hypothermia may cause in a trauma patient, as well as correctly assessing and treating a trauma patient and providing some guidelines to assist in the assessment process.

Wilderness Rescue Drill Discussion with Physician
Joe Rabinowitz et. al.
3:30 – 5:00 p.m. (11D)

This is a great opportunity for responders to discuss the Wilderness Rescue Drill as well as ask any questions they may have regarding medicine in the outdoors generally. An emergency physician and paramedics will be present to answer questions and provide feedback on the drill. Other topics of discussion may include: scope of medical practice in the wilderness, assisting survivors with grieving, avoiding or treating common outdoor illnesses, and medical case reviews from the previous year.

CPR -- Recertification
John Krummenacker
3:15 – 5:15 p.m. (11Da)

This refresher class is a combined CPR and AED program designed specifically for recertification. The program is an excellent choice for both the community and workplace setting. It is based upon the 2010 International Consensus on Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Emergency Cardiovascular Care Science with Treatment Recommendations and other evidence-based treatment recommendations. This class is limited to 20 participants.


Scent Discriminating Trailing Course
Colin Thielen and Marshall Thielen
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

See Friday, Sept. 26 for description.

Cadaver Dog Training Course
Edwin Grant
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

See Friday, Sept. 26 for description.

Enhanced SAR

Advanced 4WD Vehicle Off-Road Operations
Bill Burke
9:00 – 10:30 a.m. (8F)

This classroom and field exercise session is ideal for those who have taken other classes with Burke or those who are responsible for vetting and training new members of their SAR Team. Burke will delve deeper into the terminology and techniques of 4WD systems and how to share those years of experience with others based on the Participant Centered training philosophy. Consistency of terms, spotting signals, communication, mechanical theory, situational awareness, when is mechanical sympathy too much and when is assertive just right and technical aspects for IC of recovery and vehicle fleet responsibilities will be presented. A practical skill development scenario in classroom for 'team leaders' will be demonstrated. This session also includes how to operate a 4WD vehicle in more technical terrain in demanding conditions.

Advanced 4WD: Medical Emergencies on the Trail
Robert Aberle
11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (9F)

This classroom session will lead into the afternoon mock SAR exercise. Robert has worked for AMR for 15 years, and is currently assigned to the Reach And Treat Team. Robert is a certified instructor in Rope Rescue and Swift Water Rescue. He will draw on his years of experience to bring you a realistic perspective on what things can go wrong on the trail and what your priorities should be when assessing an incident involving a 4x4 vehicle or ATV. Robert will also cover the basics for assessing your patient what type of equipment you should carry in your SAR vehicle. This will include what type of equipment you should carry to increase your survivability if you are involved in an incident when you are alone.  

Patient Assessment Packaging and Transport
Laurie Adams and Kate Beardsley
11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (9Fa)

This class will present a "best practices" approach to using equine to reach and transport subjects. Horses can be a great resource for quickly finding and transporting injured individuals in areas where traditional patient transport cannot be used because of the nature of the wilderness trail, packaging, and the needs of the patient. This will be a hands-on class with practice in the field. This session will begin in the classroom and then will have attendees practice assessing, packaging and transporting patients on a simulated trail with obstacles in a mock scenario. This session is limited to 20 mounted participants. There is no limit for un-mounted participants.

Mock Search and Rescue
Laurie Adams, Kate Beardsley, Bill Burke and Robert Aberle
1:30 – 5:00 p.m. (10F/11F)

4wd students will work with Bill Burke from 4-Wheeling America to assess, stabilize, extricate patients from a crashed vehicle, and later recover the vehicle. Robert Aberle from American Medical Response will be there to talk about patient and equipment considerations while assessing the victims inside the vehicle. Once the patients are extricated from the vehicle Mounted SAR students will work Equestrian SAR instructors Laurie Adams and Kate Beardsley to package and extricate the victims from the area by horse.
These resources will be identified and dispatched to the area by the SAR Coordinators who are assessing the needs of the mission. There will be two vacancies for each role in the IC system (planning, finance, etc.). This field exercise is limited to four 4WD vehicles, four mounted participants, and four ICS roles. However, the number of observers is unlimited. Sign-ups for these roles will be available on the first day of the conference on the Field Exercise sign-up boards located in the Cascade Activity Center.

Water Rescue

Shallow Water Crossing
Nate Thompson and Adam Tingey
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Field Exercise (FE-8G)

Many search operations take place near some sort of waterway and often involve moving across small streams. This class will teach searchers safe techniques for crossing small streams and rivers. Students can learn what their limitations are when it comes to crossing moving water at different depths -- either solo or in groups. This full-day field exercise will cover the basics of self/partner/group river crossing, water hydrology, and self-rescue techniques. This course will involve swimming and the navigation of difficult terrain. Specialized equipment such as dry suits, thermals, gloves, PFD, helmet and shoes are required. Students are encouraged to bring their own equipment. Please indicate sizes needed at registration if loaner equipment is needed. This field exercise is limited to 12 students.

Technical Animal Rescue
Keith Gillespie
11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. (9G)

This course, taught by Rescue 3 International’s, Keith Gillespie, teaches students how to safely and effectively rescue animals. Packed with practical, real-world tips and tricks, this class allows students to walk away with the knowledge of how to deal with animals in both a flood and low-angle environment. Subjects covered include: rescuer safety, animal behavior in rescues, basic first-aid for animals, and how to extricate and safely transport animals.
A must-have course for any rescuer who may be called upon to rescue a cat from a tree or safely transport a dog from a rooftop during a flood with the news cameras rolling.

Using Side Scan Sonar and ROV for Underwater Search and Recovery (Repeat)
Gene Ralston
1:30 – 3:00 p.m. (10G)

See session 6G for description.

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Northwest SARCon

Sheriff Craig Roberts

Sheriff Craig Roberts

2014 Northwest SARCon
Sept. 26-28, 2014

Camp Kuratli at Trestle Glen
24751 SE Hwy 224
Boring, OR 97009

Julie Collinson, Conference Coordinator
Phone: 503-557-5827
Fax: 503-794-8068

Register online